Yahoo just made it a lot harder to quit Yahoo Mail

Yahoo has not had a good month.

Since Verizon said it would buy the ageing internet giant last summer, it’s been revealed that it was breached in a massive hack, in which over 500 million user account details were stolen.

Last week, The New York Times also reported that the company installed tools that surveilled all incoming email traffic on behalf of the US Government.

It’s enough to make a loyal Yahoo Mail user look for alternatives, like Google Gmail, or Microsoft’s Outlook. But Yahoo quietly made a change in the past month that will make it significantly harder to transition to another email provider.

Yahoo no longer offers the option to automatically forward email to another email address, although the setting was available earlier this year.

On the help page for the feature, Yahoo explains that auto-forward is “under development.”

Automatic forwarding sends a copy of incoming messages from one account to another.

This feature is under development. While we work to improve it, we’ve temporarily disabled the ability to turn on Mail Forwarding for new forwarding addresses. If you’ve already enabled Mail Forwarding in the past, your email will continue to forward to the address you previously configured.

Here’s how the help page said to set up the feature as of July:

Automatic forwarding helps users transition to a new email service by ensuring they won’t miss emails sent to their old email address. It’s typically the first thing someone might do if they were to switch email providers.

Business Insider has confirmed that the auto-forward feature is no longer available on Yahoo Mail accounts.

One Yahoo user told the AP that he thinks the timing of the feature removal is “extremely suspicious.”

Users can still access Yahoo emails in other clients by exporting their Yahoo email using POP3 or IMAP, although it a trickier process than an auto-forward feature.

Yahoo did not immediately return a request for comment about what part of the feature is under development or whether the change was related to whether users want to quit using Yahoo Mail.

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